Saturday, July 20, 2013

WAWeekend: Seattle’s Summertime Blues

Flying in and out of Seatac International Airport this week provided us a cloudless (finally!) sky-high show of Seattle.  And because I so often sing the blues about the area’s clouds and rain,  it seemed only fair to show you some of the other Seattle blues – its sky and water - as well. 

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Seattle grew up on Elliott Bay pictured above.  In fact, much of its southern area – now home to major league sports stadiums (that portion in the mid right hand side of the photo) was once tidal flats that stretched even further south to the mouth of the Duwamish River.  The area was populated by the Duwamish people until the early settlers arrived in the 1850’s. (The lake to the top left is Lake Union and body of water stretching across the top of the photo is Lake Washington.)

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Those of us living on ‘the east side’ of Washington State’s King County must cross Lake Washington to get to Seattle (or take long looping routes around the north or south ends of the lake).  The photo above shows Interstate 90 as it passes a tip of Bellevue to the lower left, crosses Mercer Island  and continues across the lake into Seattle.

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Seattle has become a gateway for Alaska-bound cruises ships that ply the waters from spring until fall with weekly trips north.  So prolific is the cruise industry’s presence  -- Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Crystal among them -- that a new cruise terminal, Pier 91, in the area known as Magnolia, was opened a few years ago.  (It, and a nearby grain elevator are pictured above.)

Vegas60Seattle 004While some of the ships dock at Pier 91 others continue to sail from  the more centrally located Bell Street (Pier 66) terminal, pictured below.
Vegas60Seattle 015Cruise enthusiasts who want to read more about the cruise industry in Seattle  should check out this Port Authority’s link – which even provides a list of ships and their sailing dates:

One of Seattle’s favorite waterways – and a popular tourist attraction -- is the Hiram M. Chittenden Government Locks, aka ‘the Ballard locks’ (pictured below) the latter being the name of the area in which they are located. 
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The Ballard Locks are the link between Seattle’s fresh water Lake Union (and Lake Washington via what is called the Montlake Cut) and the salt-waters of Puget Sound. Ships traveling through the locks are raised or lowered to match the water level they are entering.

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So popular are these locks there is even a Facebook page that updates regularly with news and activities about the place:

That wraps up this WAWeekend – we are heading out to enjoy some of those blue skies!  Thanks for stopping by today. Hope you get a chance to explore some close-to-home destination where ever you are in the world and we’ll see you back here on Travel Tuesday!


  1. Very nice guided tour of Seattle... from the sky, Jackie. I enjoyed following you around the Emerald City. Looking forward to meeting you next month after I get back. Happy weekend! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Veronique - I've been following your travels in France and London (envy) and do look forward to our meeting in August. Let's hope this gorgeous Seattle weather holds for another month of two! Thanks for your visit today.

  3. I love anything to do with the water. I would love to be on a boat going through the Ballard Locks.

    1. Jan, you would love Seattle's waterways. And as for the Locks, even if you are on land, it is incredible watching the boats be raised and lowered. Hope you make it to Seattle one day - I'll give you an insider's tour!

  4. I have great memories of Seattle from my short visit. What magnificent waterways!

  5. I have many childhood friends who moved to Seattle so I always love the Facebook photos they post during the summer. Seattle has some of the best views from above especially passing by Mt Rainier. Thanks for the tour through the waterways. We've sailed to Alaska from Seattle with one of the best skyline views from the ship.


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